A passionate blessing by the Kapu opens the new $38 million Kealakaha Bridge Project just north of O'okala. This will greatly improve the level of safety for the many commuters travelling the Hawaii Belt Highway between Honoka‘a and Hilo. The new bridge replaces a narrow, curved bridge, which brought opposing traffic into very precarious passing. The 645-foot long bridge is designed and built to withstand all anticipated loads, as well as earthquakes. The bridge’s location on the seismically active Big Island made it an ideal candidate to be the first bridge structure in the State of Hawaii to monitor seismic activity and provide data to researchers.